NC Dem Governor Perdue Spends 80k On Lawyers

NC Democrat Governor Bev Perdue is not running for re-election but running from law suits instead. It is likely we will see her follow in former Governor Mike Easley’s footsteps.

From the Rocky Mount Telegram:

RALEIGH — Gov. Bev Perdue’s campaign spent more than $80,000 in legal fees in the first six months of 2012, much of it on criminal defense lawyers representing the Democrat and members of her staff.

Perdue political consultant Marc Farinella said Friday the legal expenses, disclosed in a campaign finance report, are related to a criminal probe. Wake County District Attorney Colon Willoughby said Friday he does not expect any additional criminal charges to be filed in the case.

Perdue announced in January she would not seek re-election. The decision came weeks after a family friend and two close aides were charged with felony campaign finance violations related to illegal contributions and unreported flights provided to the governor.

Perdue campaign finance director Peter Reichard pleaded guilty in December to a felony charge stemming from his role as a middleman between a wealthy Morganton donor and monthly $2,000 payments provided to campaign fundraiser Juleigh Sitton. Sitton has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial.

Also indicted was Trawick “Buzzy” Stubbs Jr., a New Bern attorney who was law partner to Perdue’s late first husband. Stubbs is accused of paying for more than $28,000 in undisclosed flights on private planes to Perdue while she campaigned for governor in 2007 and 2008.

Perdue’s campaign paid $21,900 in June to the firm of Raleigh defense lawyer Wade Smith, who represented the governor during Willoughby’s investigation, and $44,300 over several months to John Wallace, the lawyer representing her campaign. Another $14,150 was paid to lawyers representing Perdue campaign treasurer Oscar Harris and compliance director Twila Nelson, both of whom were questioned in the case.

Perdue’s dormant campaign reported having nearly $1.8 million in the bank as of the end of June, along with $776,000 in unpaid loans provided to the campaign by the governor and her husband during the heated 2008 race.

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